Brooklyn Nets: Top 5 Greatest Players

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Nets Jason Kidd drives ahead of Cavs Donyell Marshall in the second half at Continental Airlines Arena in East Rutherford, N.J., April 8, 2006. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images)

As the NBA season approaches, we are counting down the top five players for every franchise. Today we will be looking at the top 5 players for the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets. The Nets franchise was established in 1967 and they played in the American Basketball Association. They were based out of New Jersey for their first season before moving to Long Island in 1968 and changing their name to the New York Nets. During that time they won two ABA championships in 1974 and 1976 which was the last season before the ABA merged with the NBA. The next year the Nets returned to New Jersey for 35 years winning two Eastern Conference championships. The Nets were then relocated to Brooklyn in 2012 and moved into a brand new arena in the Barclays Center. I will be breaking down the top five players in the Nets franchise history.

5: Vince Carter (2004-2009)

Vince Carter was drafted with the fifth overall pick in the 1998 draft by the Golden State Warriors. Carter played his college career at the University of North Carolina where he was on the second team all-american team in his final season. Vince Carter spent his first six seasons in Toronto where he made a name for himself with his high flying dunks and his crazy athleticism. Then in 2004, Vince Carter found himself on the New Jersey Nets. When Vince arrived in New Jersey his scoring increased significantly where in his first 57 games with the Nets, he avergaed 27.5 points per game. The New Jersey Nets went on to win two division titles with Vince Carter as they had one of the best teams in that era.

Accolades with the Nets:
-Three-time NBA All Star
-Second leading scorer with 8,834 points
-Fifth in assits with 1,762

4: Derrick Coleman (1990-1995)

Derrick Coleman was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the first overall pick in the 1990 draft. Coleman was the top pick after playing his college career and Syracuse University where he dominated and was a three time first team all big east, big east player of the year in 1990, and was a consensus first team all american in 1990 as well. Derrick Coleman was everything that the Nets thought he would be in his five seasons in New Jersey. Coleman avergaed a double-double of at least 18 ppg and 10 rpg in 4 of those seasons and 18 ppg and 9 rpg in his lone setback season. Coleman led the Nets to three postseason appreances in which he averaged 24.5 ppg and 13 rpg but only played in 13 total playoff games.

Accolades with the Nets:
-NBA Rookie of the Year (1991)
-NBA All Rookie First Team
– 2-time All NBA Third Team
-NBA All Star (1994)
-(Career Averages) 19.9 ppg and 10.6 rpg with the Nets

3: Buck Williams (1981-1989)

Buck Williams was drafted by the New Jersey Nets with the third overall pick in the 1981 draft. In his first seven seasons with the Nets, Buck averaged a double double at about 15 ppg and 12 rpg. The Nets would make the playoffs in each of his first five seasons but would only advance out of the first round just one time. The one time they advanced out of the first round Williams averaged 15 ppg and 14 rpg. Williams was one of the premier players on the Nets and in the entire league.

Accolades with the Nets:
-3-time All Star
-NBA Rookie of the Year (1982)
-All NBA Rookie First Team
-All NBA Second Team
-All Defensive Second Team

2: Julius Erving (1973-1976)

Julius Erving was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 12th overall pick in the 1972 draft. As many of you know Julius Erving as Dr. J or from the Philadelphia 76ers. Although Erving only played on the Nets for three seasons he made a name for himself and the whole organization. Julius took the Nets to the finals twice and won two ABA championships in the 1970’s. While Erving only played with the Nets for three seasons which is the reason he is not number one on my list but the accomplishments that he did with the Nets in his tenture were significant.

Accolades with the Nets:
-2 time ABA Champion
-2 time ABA Playoffs MVP
-3 time ABA All Star
-ABA All Defensive First Team
-ABA Slam Dunk Champion
-Number 32 Retired by the Nets
-(Career Averages) 27.4 ppg, 10.7 rpg, and 5.0 apg

1: Jason Kidd (2001-2008)

Jason Kidd was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks with the second overall pick in the 1994 draft. Once Jason Kidd arrived in New Jersey, he changed the culture immediatly. Jason Kidd took over for Stephen Marbury who was the teams best player and when Kidd took over in his first season the team went 52-30 and lost in the NBA finals which was a 26 game improvement from the previous season. This was the first time in Nets NBA franchise history that the team won 50 games in a season. Jason Kidd was the best player to ever put on a Nets jersey and he even changed the culture and the way the point guard position was played. Kidd ranks in the top five for each statistical catergory in the Nets franchise history. Kidd is ranked first in assists with 4,620, first in three pointers made with 813, first in steals with 950, fourth in points scored with 7,373, and fifth in rebounds with 3,662.

Accolades with the Nets:
-6 time NBA All Star
-3 time All NBA First Team
-All NBA Second Team
-3 time All Defensive First Team
-4 time All Defensive Second Team
-Number 5 Retired by the Brooklyn Nets
-(Career Averages) 14.4 ppg, 7.3 rpg, 9.2 apg, and 1.9 spg

Main Image: Embed from Getty Images

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